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I probably shouldn’t post this one right now – it is the holiday season.  And more  importantly, I have been sending out our Christmas cards so since I didn’t have time to get photos printed this year I have been directing friends and family to this blog so they can see for themselves what we’ve been up to.  But perhaps this is more than they want to know.  After all you can divorce spouses and break friendships but relatives you’re stuck with till the end of time.  Oh well, anyone who has spent much time around me already knows I’m totally nuts so here goes…

My Hubby was a Journeyman Lineman for the Black Hills Electric Cooperative for 31 years.  One of the first times I ever saw him he was putting a Ham Radio antenna into a very tall pine tree.  Since it seemed like he was the only Ham Radio operator in a 3 state area who climbed tees & poles for a living (and was also the only one under the age of 55) he did this quite regularly.  I must admit with his knee-high lace-up lineman boots, 30 pound tool belt and steel hooks strapped on his legs  he was strikingly handsome.  Then, to see him shinee up that tree in a matter of seconds I was impressed to say the least.  There’s just something about a man in a tool belt that makes my heart go pitter-patter! 

We were married 3 years later. 

Of course being married to a lineman isn’t all sunshine and roses.  After a few years of tripping over those damn boots in the dark, lots of phone calls in the middle of the night, being stranded at home with small children for every major blizzard, missed anniversaries and holidays because he was 300+ miles away on a storm job I was glad to see him retire and the boots go to the back of the closet.  He has been retired for 5 years now but occasionally he still drags his belt and hooks out to replace light bulbs in the yard lights or fix the corrals. 

Even though he no longer works with that bunch of wild and crazy guys, once in a while something pops out of his mouth that comes from his days at the Coop.  That happened just the other day.  I was sitting at the computer, minding my own business while he was watching the news.  I can’t remember what news story he had just seen (I wasn’t really paying attention) but my ears perked up when he recited this quote from a fellow lineman named Lee.

“The higher the monkey goes up the tree,  the smaller his asshole looks to me.”

It took me a moment to regain my composure (and pick myself up off the floor) but finally, as I fought back the laughter and dried the tears from my eyes I asked him just what the hell that meant.  He smiled and said, “You have to be a lineman to understand.”

I have known this man for almost 30 years and he still surprises me – not always in a good way – but a surprise none the less and after that amount of time you learn to take what you can get.

So here’s to all the linemen of the world.  We salute you and thank you for the electricity that keeps our computers fired up and saves us from the terror of living in the dark.  If you are lucky enough to know an actual lineman be sure to thank him personally and while you’re at it, ask him if this quote means something deeper than the obvious.  Just promise me if he divulges some deep pshyocological words of wisdom that explains the meaning of life – a secret that only lineman know – would you please pass it on?  Enlightened minds want to know.

Here’s a photo of my hubby standing in a bucket truck, reaching out to grab hold of a power line.  It may not look that impressive until you realize the line was fully charged with 230,000 volts.  The only reason he could do this without dying was because of the Carona suit he was wearing.  These suits place the lineman inside the field of electricity allowing them to work safely without having to shut down the lines and interrupting service. 

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